Can you afford to pay 100% of the bail on your own? If not, you’ll need a bail bondsman. They will pay the full amount of bail for the accused but they do require a fee of 10%. Although rarely required, some bail agents may ask for collateral as financial insurance that the defendant will be in court on the day assigned. Most bail bond agents accept cash or credit cards but if you have limited or no money, other forms of collateral may be accepted such as vehicles, boats, jewelry or even your home.
Understanding How Bail Bonds Work
When a person is arrested, they are processed or “booked” at the local county jail. Getting released from jail cannot happen until the accused person has been completely processed. Most charges have a set bail amount pursuant to the county bond schedule. Other charges may require first appearance in court where the judge will then set an amount for bail. In Florida, bail hearings are scheduled within 24 hours following an arrest.
Factors That Determine Bail Bond Cost
The amount of bail is determined by the type of crime committed and ultimately, the final bail amount is set by the judge. In Florida, the minimum bail fee that the courts can charge is $100 but bail normally ranges from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to pay the full amount of bail to get themselves or someone else out of jail so a bail bondsperson becomes necessary.
Should I Pay Bail Myself Or Hire A Bail Bondsman?
Hiring a professional bail bondsman will allow you to get a person released from jail without having to cover the entire bail bond cost yourself. Finding a knowledgeable and experienced bail bondsperson that can guide you through the process will also ease the stress of the situation, especially if this is your first time dealing with an arrest.
How Much Is A Bail Bond? How Much Does A Bail Bondsman Cost?
If you or someone you know has been arrested, you will need to pay the entire bond amount to have them released. However, if you pay this amount with a credit card, expect to pay these fees to the jail in addition to the bond amount u front. In Florida ALL bail agents are required to charge 10 percent of the total amount of bail set by the court. However, depending on the amount of the bond and the charges, most agencies can entertain a payment plan with a reasonable down payment.
Do I Get My Bail Bond Money Back?
If you or someone else paid the full bail amount, then the court will return those funds once all court appearances are completed minus any court fees. It could take months or years for funds or collateral to be released by the courts. However, if a bail bondsman was hired to facilitate the release of the accused, then typically no money is given back as the fees for their services are non-refundable. All collateral, such as cash, car, boat or other property, is returned within 14 days once court appearances are done.
Hiring A Professional Bail Bonds Company
Before using your own cash or hiring a bail bondsman, find out if the accused qualifies for Release on Own Recognizance (ROR) or Supervised Own Recognizance (SOR). If neither are an option, an experienced bail bond agent can post bail on your behalf or that of a family member or friend. They can also advise you based on your specific situation and guide you through the entire process. Unlike an attorney, bail bonds agents can speed up the release process and have you or your loved one out of jail quickly.